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Library copyright exceptions: New SCONUL briefing paper

ucylcjh5 December 2019

SCONUL have published a new briefing paper on the library exceptions to copyright with a very clear explanation of the exceptions which permit libraries to supply copies upon request to members of the public and to other not-for-profit libraries (broadly Sections 41 to 43 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988). The authors of the briefing are well known copyright experts, Jane Secker and Chris Morrison and the title is Copyright briefing paper on the Hargreaves exceptions

This serves as a useful reminder of the changes to the relevant exceptions which give more flexibility to library staff. Just to mention a few examples: we can now supply extracts from e-journals as well as print, while adhering to the terms of the exceptions, the article can also be delivered electronically (as Pdfs for example). Although declarations are still required when providing copies to individuals, they no longer need to be print nor do they need to be signed. The current legislation is also less prescriptive about the wording of the declaration (the briefing includes some useful sample wording for the latter).

The 3 concise case studies included in the briefing present useful examples of ways in which the new flexibility can be used by libraries to improve services to their academic communities. The SCONUL briefing gives us a clear explanation and a useful reminder about the updated library exceptions.